November 9, 2023
The Ghent specialist in data about and for hotels OTA Insight renames itself Lighthouse. The new name should reflect the expansion strategy that will push the company above 70 million euros in turnover this year.
Shining light into the darkness of complex data about the hotel sector. That, in a very tight nutshell, is what the British-Belgian data company Lighthouse promises to do. “We want to be the world leader in this in two to three years,” says Matthias Geeroms, one of the three Belgian founders of the scale-up.
Lighthouse is the new name of OTA Insight, a company founded in 2012 by the Belgian trio Geeroms, Adriaan Coppens and Gino Engels. In the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games, they had experienced first-hand how bad hotels were at setting their prices. Months in advance, hotel rooms in London turned out to be downright unaffordable. But once the Games approached, prices imploded to fill the hotels. There must be a better way, the trio thought.
Geeroms, Coppens and Engels decided to solve that problem. They scraped all possible relevant information from the web, such as the weather, upcoming events in the city and guest reviews. They used that to build a dashboard hotel revenue managers can better estimate future prices for hotel rooms. That solution has spread like wildfire over the past ten years. Today, more than 65,000 hotels in 185 countries use the data software of the London-founded company, which now mainly works from Ghent.
One trick pony
OTA Insight is a household name in the world of hotels and short-term rentals. But the team behind OTA Insight gradually realized that there was also more potential in the data sets of more than 725,000 hotels and 19 million short-term rental accommodations where it makes its money. “We were too much of a one-trick pony,” says Geeroms. ‘While we could sell many more products to our customers.’
In recent years, OTA Insight has therefore focused on an expansion strategy, in which it built new products and, fueled by several substantial capital rounds, targeted acquisitions that could add services. Today, the company no longer only assists revenue managers with determining room rates, but also helps with market analyses, a better insight into room occupancy and analyzes of marketing campaigns.
One stop shop
These services were already sold separately, but are now bundled into one general platform. That platform, which aims to be a one-stop shop for the sector for all data needs, is being marketed under the new name Lighthouse.
We were too much of a one-trick pony, while we could sell many more services to our customers.
With the help of this comprehensive data platform, Lighthouse believes it can take the next step in its growth trajectory. “This year we will have a turnover of more than 70 million euros, while last year we were just under 50 million,” says Geeroms. “There is a huge market for this platform, so we expect high growth rates in the coming years.” The company generates a positive gross operating profit (EBITDA) on that turnover.
In the slightly longer term, the ambition is even more pronounced, says Geeroms. ‘Our ambition is very clear. We want to become the largest data company in the hospitality sector. With the platform we can grow into a global leader.’
- Founded in 2012 by Adriaan Coppens, Gino Engels and Matthias Geeroms in London.
- Builds software that gives hotels better insight into hotel occupancy and room rates. 65,000 customers in 185 countries use this data software.
- Raised $100 million in two capital rounds (2017 and 2021) from investors Spectrum Equity, Eight Roads, F-Prime Capital and Highgate Technology Ventures.
- Turnover will be around 70 million euros this year and should grow to 100 million euros next year.